Congo-Kinshasa: What's Happening to DR Congo's Yannick Bolasie?

"By the time Bolasie was shipped off on loan to the Championship, Theo Walcott, Ademola Lookman, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Bernard and Richarlison were all ahead of him." - Tinotenda Magiya, FirstTouch Africa

The most significant task that a manager deals with in their coaching career ought to be the challenge to get the best out of their players. Dealing with human beings is destined to be a risky and unpredictable business because of the differences in attitudes, fitness, playing style among others. As a result, some good players end up falling down the pecking order despite their talent. We assess a similar situation to this. We investigate on the career of a certain Congolese international who seem unplayable at his best. This is the story of Yannick Bolasie so far.

Early Days

Like some of the players we have previewed in the past, Yannick Bolasie had an amazing time during his early days in English football. He came through the unorthodox path that most footballers use to get to the English Premier League. Bolasie started off at Plymouth Argyle before moving to Barnet in the Football League. Bristol City also acquired his services before his big move to Crystal Palace in 2012 which introduced him to the fixtures of the English Premier League.

Earns Everton Move

Bolasie terrorized defences left, right and centre for 4 good years before he attracted the interest of Liverpool's arch rivals, Everton. The African forward showed that he was ready to challenge any marksman as long as he had the ball at his feet. Showboating was an added flavor to his game which made sense to the Goodison Park investors as they spent £25 million for his services on 15 August 2016.

Career Defining Injury

Congolese international, Yannick Bolasie sustained an injury to his right anterior cruciate ligament on 4 December 2016. This injury kept him out of the Everton team which needed the qualities of this tall, dark-skinned man from the African continent. Missing a year of football is a blow for any soccer player and it was no different for the winger who lost his place in the team. In his absence, the club prepped for a new manager at the club who believed in a different philosophy and preferred other players ahead of him. His days became numbered.

Downgrade to the Championship

By the time Bolasie was shipped off on loan to the Championship, Theo Walcott, Ademola Lookman, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Bernard and Richarlison were all ahead of him. The 29 year-old feared for his career at Everton which forced him to move to Aston Villa who failed to secure promotion to the English Premier League for the 2018/19 season. This was an unexpected move for a player who was feared by the best of defenders in the competition. Now in a lower league, Bolasie is still yet to make a first start in the 6 appearances he's made for Villa.

Benched in the national team set up

Things seem to be worsening for the Congolese forward as his misfortunes look like the are following him to the national team. Yannick Bolasie was benched in a crucial African Cup of Nations qualifiers tie between DR Congo and Zimbabwe. He later came on as a substitute but it was too late to save a point as team fell to a 2-1 defeat at home to the Warriors on Saturday October 13.

Is there a comeback?

It seems the African has not lost his goalscoring touch as he netted the consolation in the recent match between Zimbabwe and DR Congo in the 2019 AFCON qualifiers. He has also managed to score 2 goals in the 6 appearances he has made in the Championship for Villa. However, his situation at both club and country level is still concerning as he's yet to cement his position in the starting XI. He's got what it takes to be on top again but his performances are still lacking that special something to convince his managers to put their faith in him. Do you think there is a comeback for Yannick Bolasie like Wilfried Zaha has done at Crystal Palace after the Manchester United debacle?

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